Developmental Screening


What is Developmental Screening and Developmental Monitoring?

Developmental screening is a short test to tell if a child is learning basic skills when he or she should, or if there are delays. Developmental screening can also be done by other professionals in health care, community, or school settings. Your child’s growth and development are tracked through you and your health professional. At each well-child visit the doctor looks for developmental delays or problems and talks with you about any concerns you might have. This is called developmental monitoring

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children be screened for developmental delays and disabilities during regular well-child doctor visits at 9, 18 & 24 or 30 months.

Why should I have my child(ren) screened for developmental delays?

Many children with developmental delays are not being identified as early as possible. As a result, these children must wait to get the help they need to do well in school and other social settings.

What kind of screenings & monitoring are available?

When should a child typically reach for toys or say first words? The Ages & Stages questionnaire can assess these milestones and many more. You can enroll in Connecticut’s Ages and Stages Child Monitoring Program, a FREE service provided by Help Me Grow at Child Development Infoline (CDI). Click here to learn more.

Do you think your child may have a developmental delay or health-related need? CT’s Birth to Three system supports families in meeting their developmental or health-related needs for infants and toddlers. Click here to learn more.

Mid-Level Developmental Assessment (MLDA) provides a high quality, easily accessible developmental assessment of children 3 to 6 years who are struggling within their home and/or school environment. Click here to learn more.


What can you do to help your child’s development?

  • Talk, read, sing and play music with your child.
  • Give your child lots of love, affection, and attention.
  • Encourage safe exploration and curiosity of his/her environment.
  • Avoid harsh punishment. Instead, give attention and praise for positive behavior.
  • Learn more positive parenting tips here

Where can I get more information?

Child Development Infoline 211: Supports children’s healthy growth and development starting from pregnancy.

Help Me Grow: Supporting Healthy Growth and Development

CDC Learn the Signs. Act Early Program: From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in how s/he plays, learns, speaks, acts & moves.

I know the signs of healthy child development.

Click here for a list of resources in CT that serve the ages of prenatal through 21.

Click  here for a one page flyer about the importance of developmental screening & monitoring.


In 2015, the NECC, Lions Clubs International, and area public schools began screening preschool & school age children for vision problems. With this collaboration, the vision screening program has identified many young children who would not have been identified as having vision problems using traditional methods. Identifying and correcting vision problems early is so important to school age children, as 80% of how children learn is through vision and 1 in 10 children has a vision problem significant enough to affect learning.

The CT Lions KidSight Program is a free service funded by the CT Lions Eye Research Foundation and staffed by volunteers. Using the latest technology (called a photo screener) the screening device detects risk factors for amblyopia, such as strabismus (eyes that cross or wander out), refractive errors and unequal vision between the two eyes, and potentially even more serious issues such as cataracts and eye cancer. The NECC is grateful to the dedication of the CT Lions volunteers as well as the staff of the area public schools for bringing this valuable service to local children. The NECC continues to look at how we can bring more screenings to children in our communities as we work towards our mission that all children, birth through age eight, in Killingly, Plainfield, Putnam & Sterling are healthy, safe & successful learners. If you would like more information on our Vision Task Force, please contact our Regional Director.

When should children get regular vision testing?

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should receive additional eye exams at 3 years of age, and just before they enter kindergarten or the first grade at about age 5 or 6. The vision testing conducted at public schools and pediatric offices are not sufficient and do not detect all problems. During a visit to an optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam, the doctor will look at things a school vision screening will not, such as the overall health of the eyes, how the eyes work together, and whether your child’s eyes are focusing correctly. This in-depth look will also examine depth perception, color and peripheral vision, the health of the pupil, and distance viewing. Children’s eyes are responsible for 80 percent of their total learning, making it vital to ensure the eyes are healthy with an annual exam (from

What are some warning signs of vision problems in children?

Look for some of these warning signs:

  • Avoiding or not liking reading
  • Short attention span
  • Difficulty throwing or catching a ball, copying from a chalkboard or tying their shoes
  • Pulling a book in close to their face, or sitting too close to a TV
  • Lots of blinking or eye rubbing
  • Guiding their eyes with a finger or pencil while reading
  • Falling performance in school

Additional Resources:

ThinkAboutYourEyes is a national public awareness campaign, presented by The Vision Council and the American Optometric Association, designed to educate the public on the benefits of vision health and promote the importance of getting an annual comprehensive eye exam.

Lions Kids Sight  is a nationwide program to safeguard the vision of children aged 6 months through 6 years.

Click here for a one page flyer about the importance of regular vision screening & exams.

Click here for a list of vision eye care centers and doctors in your area and here for a buyer’s guide for purchasing glasses online.

Learn more about the success stories of Gavin and Colton, two young children who have benefited from this fantastic screening program.

See our Calendar of Events page for vision screenings!